T O D A Y - Missionaries of the Precious Blood

People Doing
Extraordinary Things
In this issue of
C.PP.S. Today
Page 2: Who are the Missionaries?
At the very heart of everything we do is the
Precious Blood of Jesus. Between the Lines by
Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S.,
provincial director of the Cincinnati Province.
Each Missionary
receives a
mission cross
when he joins
the Community.
Page 3: Ordinary People Doing
Extraordinary Things
Like other religious congregations, the
Missionaries of the Precious Blood have a
unique way of going about their ministry. For
one thing, that means smelling like their sheep.
Page 10: A Missionary Heart
Most people must discern a vocation to the
consecrated life first, then discern where and
how to carry that out. Call and Answer by
Fr. Vince Wirtner, C.PP.S., director of
vocation ministry.
Page 11: Teaching Whoever Shows Up
Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S., says he became a
better teacher when he realized an important
truth about middle schoolers: they’re just like we
were at that age.
Page 15: Chapter and Verse
News about C.PP.S. people and places.
Page 17: Not a Missionary Heart
All evidence points to the contrary of this writer
being able to move around much. At Our House
by Jean Giesige, editor of C.PP.S. Today.
Br. Tim Cahill,
C.PP.S., found
his niche as
middle school
C.PP.S. Today is published by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati
Province, 431 E. Second St., Dayton, OH 45402
937-228-9263 [email protected] www.cpps-preciousblood.org
On Facebook, Missionaries of the Precious Blood Cincinnati Province
On Twitter, @cppscincinnati
Who are the Missionaries?
ith this issue we are trying to answer a very fundamental
question: who are the Missionaries of the Precious Blood?
This is a very significant year for us. It is the bicentennial of the
founding of our Community, and it is also the Year of Consecrated
Life, as proclaimed by Pope Francis. Those two events give us a
great opportunity to introduce ourselves to people who do not know
us—and to people who do! The people to whom we minister may be
familiar with us, but they may not know much about our spirituality or
our sense of mission. We hope that our cover story will give you a good
overview of our Community.
It wasn’t easy to write. I am sure that your family, like mine, has its
own traditions, and its own way of looking at the world. But if I asked
you to describe your family, could you do it? However, people who
support or seek to join our Community deserve to know who we are
and what we stand for. So we continue to try to educate people about
our history, our spirituality and our sense of mission.
At the very heart of everything we do is the Precious Blood of
Jesus, which is a vital, compelling and eternal symbol of God’s great
love for all. That was central to our founder, St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and
it remains our foundation to this day. Everything that we do flows
from that.
Because we are inspired by Jesus’ sacrifice, we believe in the power
of Jesus’ Blood to reconcile the world. We work for peace among
families, neighbors and nations. We have a deep reverence for God’s
word. These are some of our core beliefs, and we try to live them.
Also in this issue, you’ll find the story of Brother Tim Cahill,
C.PP.S., who ministers as a teacher in a Catholic school
in Dayton. In the way he shares his own vocation
story, and in the way he reaches out to students, you
can see an example of Precious Blood spirituality at
work in the world.
Through our words and our actions, we tell our
story. We hope that it is something that you want to hear,
and also that it is pleasing to God, who has guided us for
the past 200 years. In our God and in our relationships
with others, we find the answers to the questions, who are
the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, and why
are the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Those
answers will propel us into our next 200 years.
Ordinary People Doing
Extraordinary Things
It’s the Year of Consecrated Life as well as the Missionaries’
bicentennial. What do they bring to the Church and the world?
priest or brother, but also as a
member of a particular religious
community. He is saying, “God
has called me to a life of service
in the Church, and this is the way
that I have found to carry out that
call. This is where I belong.”
hen a priest or brother
candidate joins—the
technical term is to become
definitively incorporated— the
Missionaries of the Precious
Blood, he makes a promise
to spend his life not only as a
what sets them apart. They just
feel it in their heart.
“When I was a kid, I didn’t
know there were any choices,”
said Fr. Bill Nordenbrock, C.PP.S.,
who grew up in a parish where
Missionaries of the Precious
Blood had always ministered.
When he decided to explore
the possibilities of religious
life, he went to Brunnerdale,
the Missionaries’ high school
seminary outside of Canton, Ohio.
It wasn’t until he was sent
to the Catholic Theological
Union in Chicago for theological
studies that he came to know
people from many other religious
“It was there that I realized
how different the communities
really are,” he said. “Each
community has its own ways,
its own particular flavor. And
the people who are part of that
community take on that flavor.
Each community has a particular
way of being and a particular
way of working. It’s the same
with family life. You get to know
people a lot better when you get
to know their family.”
Indeed, Fr. Nordenbrock
did take on the flavor of the
Missionaries of the Precious
Blood—to the point where he
is now their moderator general,
the leader of the Missionaries
worldwide. Missionaries serve in
20 countries around the world,
and Fr. Nordenbrock has visited
And the Missionaries say in
reply, “Welcome to the family.”
That multi-leveled
commitment—to God, to
the Church, to a religious
community—is what is being
celebrated in this Year of
Consecrated Life, as proclaimed
by Pope Francis. It is taking
place at the same time that the
Missionaries celebrate the 200th
anniversary of their founding.
What is consecrated life?
A consecrated life has been
pledged to God through a
religious community, such as
the Jesuits, the Franciscans,
or the Missionaries of the
Precious Blood. Many parishes
are served by diocesan clergy,
priests who are educated by and
spend their lives in a particular
diocese, under the care of a
bishop. Members of religious
communities—priests, religious
brothers and sisters—minister
under the authority of the local
bishop, but they also belong to
a particular community. That
community has its own unique
spirituality, culture and mission.
Each Has Its own Flavor
Even people who have been
Catholic their whole life often
don’t understand the distinction.
They may be familiar with
priests, brothers or sisters from a
particular religious community
and still not be able to articulate
or will visit all of them during his
six-year term.
welcomed them to sit at table
with him. The Missionaries, then,
open their doors to friends and
to strangers. They share what
they have.
The Flavor of the Missionaries
So what is the flavor that
the Missionaries take on? First
and always, the Congregation is
devoted to the Precious Blood
of Jesus, and that awareness
affects everything they do. There
was such expansiveness in
Jesus’ sacrifice, such boundless
love, that in following him the
Missionaries draw a very wide
circle. Precious Blood spirituality
calls for inclusion, for seeking out
people who feel unloved, rejected
and alone, in the same way that
Christ seeks them out.
Because the Blood of Christ
reconciled all of humankind to
God, the Missionaries appreciate
and promote reconciliation as
another important aspect of
their ministry. The sacrament of
Reconciliation is an important
part of their ministry, but
reconciliation is also a basic
stance. Missionaries work to
bring people back together, to
draw them near through the
Blood of Christ. They promote
peace and understanding in
a neighborhood or between
feuding family members.
Another aspect of Precious Blood
spirituality is hospitality, again
taking Jesus as a model. He
offered his body and blood to his
disciples at the last supper and
Very Ordinary People
Those are characteristics that
the Missionaries strive toward,
to remain true to their calling
as people of the Precious Blood.
There are other distinctions as
well, said Fr. Nordenbrock.
“Missionaries of the Precious
Blood tend to be very ordinary
people,” he said. “And I mean
that in the best possible way.
They are engaged with and
encouraging people at a very
ordinary level. We really have an
incarnational spirit, which means
we are with the people. We live
with the people we serve and
take on their flavor as well.”
People have often identified
that trait among the Missionaries:
they roll up their sleeves and join
in when there is work to be done.
“If there are tables that need
to be set up at a parish function,
the priest joins in helping to set
up tables,” said Fr. Nordenbrock.
“We’re just folks. There’s a
humanness to us. Our becoming
priests or brothers does not
remove us from the world. We
have a very ordinary way of
being present to the people.”
In doing so, they are
following Pope Francis, who
in his letter proclaiming
the Year of Consecrated
Life asks all members of
religious communities to
walk among the people of
“Around the world,
I see deep interpersonal
friendships between
our members and the
people we serve,” Fr.
Nordenbrock said. “When
our members go out into
ministry in other countries,
they do so with deep
respect for other cultures
and who they are. When
we are at our best, we do
that. “And that’s what
Francis is urging us to do.
He says that people who
are living a consecrated life
should be in relationship
with the people, in
communion with people.
As Francis says, we smell
like our sheep.”
“We’re just folks. There’s a
humanness to us. Our
becoming priests or brothers
does not remove us from
the world. We have a very
ordinary way of being
present to the people.”
Fr. Bill Nordenbrock, C.PP.S.
Society of Apostolic Life
of Missionaries, said Fr.
Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S.,
the provincial director of
the Missionaries’ Cincinnati
“In a Society of Apostolic
Life, our passion is our
ministry,” he said. “In some
religious communities, their
passion is about serving
God while living their life in
community. For instance, a
Benedictine may be committed
Among religious
communities, there are additional
distinctions. The Missionaries of
the Precious Blood, for instance,
are a Society of Apostolic Life.
While every religious community
balances mission, community
and prayer in different ways, a
Society of Apostolic Life exists
primarily for its mission.
That is fitting for a group
Missionaries and the Mission Cross
Missionaries are given a mission
cross, as shown on the cover of this
issue, when they are definitively
incorporated into the Community.
This tradition was established by
St. Gaspar del Bufalo, who founded the
Community in 1815.
The mission cross represents their
commitment to Christ and to their
Community. The mission cross has two
small figures under the feet of Christ:
the Sorrowful Mother, standing at
the foot of the cross, and a skull and
crossbones, reminding all people that
their life on earth will come to an end
and that Jesus conquered death.
Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S.,
center, said that the chain of the
mission cross also has special
significance. “The chain represents the
bond of charity (vinculum caritatis, or
chain of love) that binds us together as
a Community,” he said. “I regularly
wear the mission cross and chain.
When I’m wearing it, I’m reminded
that I’m not in this alone. I carry all my
fellow Missionaries with me.”
Above is Brother Hugh Henderson,
C.PP.S., who frequently wore his
mission cross. Brother Hugh died on
January 6, 2015. Below is Fr. Leonard
Kostka, C.PP.S., who at 100 is the oldest
living member of the Missionaries of the
Precious Blood. He received his mission
cross nearly 75 years ago.
Brothers Caring for Brothers
In addition to theological
and philosophical differences,
each religious community has
its own internal leadership
and governance structure. The
Missionaries around the world
are divided into units, the
largest of which is a province.
There are two provinces in the
United States: the Cincinnati
Province (roughly, east of the
Mississippi), which includes
a vicariate in Chile, missions
in Peru and Guatemala, and
an ad experimentum mission
in Colombia; and the Kansas
City Province (west of the
Mississippi), which has a mission
in Vietnam.
Fr. Nordenbrock stays in
close contact with all of the
units but the dynamic is one of
brotherly love and concern rather
than as a stern ruler.
“I’m not the superior
general, I am the moderator
general. My title reminds me to
do my work in communion with
the people I serve. One brother
serves the other brother,” he said.
“I am aware that someday I will
not serve in this role anymore,
but I will still be with my
brothers. How I exercise the office
is informed by that. Our way of
relating to each other is more
horizontal than vertical.”
As brothers, the Missionaries
care for each other throughout
(Continued from page six)
to one abbey for his entire life.
Not us—we travel around. We
are constantly changing, and
how and where we do ministry
is constantly changing.”
Ever since they were
founded in 1815 by St. Gaspar
del Bufalo, the Missionaries
have gone to the edge of society
to seek out people who felt lost
and alone. Fr. Hemmelgarn said
he is energized by the Year of
Consecrated Life because Pope
Francis calls all the faithful to get
out of the comfortable center of
life and go to the margins, where
they will find God.
“Pope Francis is urging
us to go to the periphery. He
tells us to get out of the center,
where things are comfortable
and peaceful. That’s what St.
Gaspar did! Throughout his life,
he went to the periphery. He
ministered to the bandits in the
Italian countryside. When he was
in Rome, he went to the poor
people in the marketplace, to jails
and to hospitals. He spent years
in exile—on the periphery,” Fr.
Hemmelgarn said. “It’s not an
easy place to be. But being on the
periphery can give us insights
that we wouldn’t have if we
didn’t go there.”
their lives, to death’s door, and
beyond. Their daily prayers
include the Missionaries who
have died, all the way back to
St. Gaspar. The lengths to which
Community members go to
minister to each other is truly
extraordinary; a Missionary may
live and minister far from his
brothers in the C.PP.S., but he
is never really alone. They call
this the bond of charity, and it is
another vital aspect of their life
in Community.
Those relationships with
each other as Missionaries, the
strength that they draw from
each other, and the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit, help broaden the
Missionaries’ reach. They are a
small group within a much larger
Church. Yet C.PP.S. priests and
brothers have touched the lives of
millions of people in their 200year history.
“I agree with Fr. Bill that
we’re very ordinary people, who
do extraordinary things,” said Fr.
Hemmelgarn. “It’s extraordinary
when you put all of us together
and see what happens. When you
put all of us together with
The Dream Continues...
“When you put all of
us together with God’s
blessing, the impact we
have as a Community
is extraordinary.”
Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S.
God’s blessing, the impact
we have as a Community
is extraordinary.”
The Missionaries of the
Precious Blood celebrate
their bicentennial in 2015.
Glory to the Blood of Jesus!
Now and forever.
A Missionary Heart
eople tend to sort themselves into like-minded groups, and
people in religious life are no different. In discerning a vocation
as a priest, religious brother or sister, the first step is usually to
determine whether the call is genuine. Then, people have to decide
where or how they want to serve the Church and the people of God.
For some, that means ministry as a diocesan priest, under the care
of a bishop. Others feel more at home in a religious community.
When I decided to explore the call I was hearing to the priesthood,
I sat with the vocation director for the Diocese of South Bend, Ind.,
because I grew up in Fort Wayne. He told me, “You have a missionary
heart. We need to send you to a religious community.” I put aside any
thoughts of becoming part of the diocesan clergy, because generally,
they stay in one diocese. The Spirit was telling me, “I have a mission in
store for you.” So I became a missionary—a Missionary of the Precious
Blood, to be exact.
The religious community that a person chooses becomes a very
important part of his or her identity. When I was a student at the
Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, it was easy to sense the
differences among the religious communities. It was the second
thing that people said, after their name. “Hi, I’m Jim, I’m with the
Augustinians (or Passionists, or Franciscans).” We may all have the
same ideals, but we live into them differently.
That is a distinction that may take a while to grasp. As I talk with
young people who are discerning a religious vocation, the first question
in most of their minds is whether they are called to the consecrated life
in the first place. I have never heard anyone say, “I’m discerning a call
to be a Missionary of the Precious Blood.” It’s always, “I want to be a
priest,” or “I want to be a brother.”
So my follow-up question is, why choose
Call and Answer
our Community to do that? What appeals to you
by Fr. Vince
about being a Missionary of the Precious Blood, in
Wirtner, C.PP.S.
addition to being a priest or brother? If I am talking
to someone who is brand new to discernment to
religious life, he might say, “Well, I didn’t even know
there was that option.”
It is an option, and it has been an option for 200
years, ever since the Missionaries were founded in
1815. It can take a while for a young person to sort out
all the options, but that’s okay. We’ve been
around for 200 years; we can wait a little
while longer for God to help them to the
decision they have to make.
Shows Up
Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S., says the key to teaching
middle school is remembering what it was like.
t was the end of the class
period right before lunch, and
the eighth graders in Brother
Tim Cahill’s religion class at St.
Peter School in Huber Heights,
Ohio, had been working on group
projects. They had moved their
desks around, pondered, and
maybe wiggled a little bit in their
seats, as most kids do, and the
desks that had been in a straight
line when they walked into the
room were straight no longer.
Calmly and with military
precision, Brother Tim moved
from row to vertical row in his
classroom, directing the students
to align the desks before they
left for the day, which they did
quickly and quietly, without
whining or questioning. It’s
good for kids to be able to make
a straight line, Brother Tim
believes. It’s good for them to
know where they stand.
He enjoys teaching middle
schoolers; there’s a surprise
in every day because he
never knows who is going to
walk through the door of his
“Middle schoolers are
still children, but they’re
willing to become adults,” he
said. “Sometimes they want a
cookie, and sometimes they are
sophisticated young men and
women who want to be treated
as such. You never know what
you’re going to get.”
He understands. Brother
Tim, now 58 with 24 years of
teaching experience, 18 of them
at St. Peter School, remembers
very well what it was like to
grow up without really knowing
where he was going, or what he
would become.
they’re doing something wrong.
Help them find another way.’ I
have been using that advice ever
since,” he said.
He volunteered with Big
Brothers Big Sisters and at the
parish. His pastor told him that
he’d had a dream where God
appeared and said, ‘Why isn’t
Tim in a seminary yet?’”
Brother Tim said he had
toyed with the idea of a religious
vocation, but wasn’t sure where
to go. The vocations director
of the Diocese of Youngstown
directed him to the Pontifical
College Josephinum, a seminary
in Columbus. His second try
at college also did not go well,
and he withdrew from classes.
“I figured I would get a job
someplace, maybe at the GM
plant. Or maybe I would go to a
junior college.”
Then his bishop called him in
and sat him down. “He asked me,
‘Have you ever thought about
becoming a religious brother?’ I
said I never had, because brothers
are guys who live in cells, wear
black robes and sweep the floors.
He looked at me and said, ‘You
have no idea what brothers are all
about. You need to meet Brother
Bernie Barga.”
Becoming a Brother
Brother Tim was born in
Youngstown, Ohio, raised in a
staunch Irish Catholic family who
attended St. Brendan Catholic
Church. He graduated from high
school without a clear plan for
his future. He worked part-time
for a pharmacy chain, then the
parish hired him as its director of
religious education.
“The position of DRE was
in its infancy,” he said. “Nobody
even knew what a DRE was.”
He enjoyed the experience so
much that “I thought I might like
to become a teacher.” He enrolled
in classes at Youngstown State
and promptly failed. “I wasn’t a
very good student,” he said.
He returned to work at the
drug store, where he learned how
to work with all kinds of people.
“I had a manager who told
me, ‘Don’t just tell people that
Meeting Brother Bernie
Brother Bernie was a
Missionary of the Precious Blood,
a dynamic, spirit-filled, big12
hearted man who drew
people toward him
like a lantern draws
moths. At the time,
he was ministering
at Brunnerdale, the
Missionaries’ former
high school seminary
near Canton, Ohio, that
was then being used as
a retreat center.
Tim met Brother
Bernie and some of
the other Missionaries,
Brother Tim helps the eighth graders in
and for the first time he
his classroom at St. Peter School. Middle
felt he had found his
schoolers are still children, he said, but
they’re willing to become adults.
“I felt like I was
home,” he said. “I had
a big beard at the time and didn’t
In Huber Heights, a
want to shave it off. When I
suburb northeast of Dayton,
walked into Brunnerdale for the
he works with students during
first time, there was a brother
the school day, and volunteers
sitting behind the desk with a big
with young people in his spare
white beard. And it wasn’t just
time, primarily with the Young
that. The guys there were friendly Marines, an anti-drug program
and welcoming. It was the only
of the U.S. Marine League that
place I visited where I said, ‘This
leads young people to a healthy,
feels right.’”
active life. He serves as the Young
Marines’ adjutant and chaplain.
Ministering to Young People
He also volunteers with the
St. Vincent de Paul Society at the
Brother Tim made his
parishes in the Dayton area; is a
profession as a religious brother
CPR and first aid instructor, and
in 1989. He celebrated his 25th
is a first responder.
anniversary last year. It’s a good
Both at work and in his
life, he said. He has ministered at
volunteer efforts, he reaches out
parishes, including St. Augustine
to young people. “I recognize that
in Rensselaer, Ind.; Immaculate
kids have troubles. I had troubles
Conception in Celina, Ohio, and
when I was a kid. My teachers
Precious Blood in Dayton.
helped me. So I help
my students,” he said.
Sometimes they slip up and
call him Dad, he said. That’s
when Brother Tim knows he’s
made an impact on their lives.
someone guided me. My teacher,
Mr. Craig, set me straight. He
was firm but polite. From him, I
got my love of reading.
“Once I realized that, I
started enjoying being around the
No-Nonsense Approach
students. I saw that they weren’t
doing things on purpose to get
Kids need the no-nonsense
under my skin; that’s just the way
approach that Brother Tim brings
teens are. Once a teacher accepts
to the classroom. It also doesn’t
that, life gets a lot better.”
take them long to discover his big
Years ago, he heard a Precious
Blood priest give a talk about the
“When they hired me to
Cry of the Blood of Jesus. “Where
teach eighth grade here, I said,
do you hear the cry of the Blood?”
‘Okay, I can do that.’ But the first
the priest had asked.
year was rough. I wasn’t sure that
Brother Tim has thought of
this was where God wanted me
that often. “I heard the cry of the
to be. Then I had an epiphany.
Blood coming from the children.
I realized that they were no
They come to school, some with
different than I was at their
no lunch and some from broken
age. And when I was their age,
homes, single-parent homes,
homes where mom
and dad are just
busy,” he said.
I realized that they were no different
“They come to us for
than I was at their age. And when I
learning, but what
was their age, someone guided me.
I see is their need
for someone who
Brother Tim Cahill, C.PP.S.
will listen to them
and hear their story.
Someone who will
just be there for them.
Someone who will
discipline them when
they need it, laugh
when they act silly,
and—this is very
be the adult
for them.”
C•H•A•P•T•E•R and V•E•R•S•E
C.PP.S. Blood Drives: Blood drives sponsored by the Missionaries of
the Precious Blood and their supporters had netted over 300 units by
the end of January. During their bicentennial year, the Missionaries
hope to gather 1,000 units of blood. St. Gaspar del Bufalo, the
Congregation’s founder, once said, “I wish that I had 1,000 tongues to
endear every heart to the Precious Blood of Jesus,” so the number 1,000
is of special significance this year.
The next C.PP.S.-sponsored blood drive at the Community Blood
Center in Dayton will be held on March 25. Donors can schedule an
appointment at donortime.com. Blood drives are also being organized
in Ottawa, Glandorf and Whiting, Ind., and at Saint Joseph’s College in
Rensselaer, Ind.
If you don’t live near a C.PP.S.-sponsored blood drive but want to
dedicate your blood donation to the Congregation, simply email Cindy
Sipes at [email protected] and let her know. Thanks to
all who have donated so far!
In Memoriam: Br. Adrian Barga, C.PP.S., 91, died on, October 13, 2014,
in the infirmary of St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, where he
made his home
He was born in Rossburg, Ohio, on September 7, 1923, to Victor and Anna (Mangen) Barga. He entered the Society of the Precious
Blood in 1950 and was professed a religious brother on July 1, 1951.
Br. Adrian worked for many years on the Congregation’s farms, first
at St. Charles, then, beginning in 1956, at Brunnerdale
Seminary in Canton, Ohio, where he served as farm
manager for many years. Br. Adrian returned to St.
Charles in 1988 and made his home there for the past 26 years.
Br. Adrian was a hard worker with a gentle spirit,
said Br. Jerome Schulte, C.PP.S., who ministered
alongside Br. Adrian on the farm at Brunnerdale for more
Br. Adrian than 25 years. “Br. Adrian was very attuned to life on
the farm, and always knew what had to be done next,”
Br. Jerry said. “He was gentle in the way he let you know what was
expected of you—and if he was sure about something, he would let
you know it, not in a prideful way, but with the confidence that comes
from knowing he was right.”
Br. Adrian was committed to his life as a religious brother, and was
a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Reds.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Charles Center on
October 17, with Fr. Thomas Hemm, C.PP.S., presiding. Br. Nicholas
Renner, C.PP.S., offered a reflection. Burial followed in the Community
Br. Hugh Henderson, C.PP.S., 66, died on January 5,
2015, at his residence in Cincinnati, of natural causes.
Br. Hugh was born on August 10, 1948, in
Cleveland, to Hugh and Dorothy (Triggs) Henderson.
He entered the Community in 1967 and was professed
on March 25, 1972.
Br. Hugh has served in education and parish
ministries throughout his years as a religious brother.
Br. Hugh
His early ministry sites included St. Edward Church
Holy Trinity Church, and Polyclinic Hospital, all in Cleveland; and St.
Anthony Church, Detroit.
In 1995 he was assigned to Saint Joseph’s College, where he served
as assistant chaplain and admission recruiter. During his later years
at the college, he also served as organist at Sacred Heart Church and
Remington Presbyterian Church, both in Remington, Ind. From 1999
until his death, he was in parish ministry in Cincinnati, first at St. Mark
Church and then at the Church of the Resurrection.
In November 2013, he was honored for his ministry to AfricanAmerican Catholics by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The Church of
the Resurrection had planned to honor him with a Reverend Martin
Luther King Jr. Keep the Dream Alive award on January 19, 2015.
Br. Hugh had a large personality, which came along with definite
opinions, a quick smile and an orator’s voice. Beneath it all was a
giving heart, which those around him were quick to detect. In his
ministry at the parish he spent hours visiting people in nursing homes
and hospitals. People urged him to make a quicker exit, not to spend so
much time in each room, but he never could.
Funeral Masses were celebrated on January 12 at St. Peter in Chains
Cathedral, Cincinnati, with Archbishop Dennis Schnurr presiding
and Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S., as homilist; and on January 13 at St.
Adalbert Church in Cleveland, with Fr. Clarence Williams, C.PP.S.,
presiding. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Charles
Center on January 15 with Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., presiding
and Fr. Williams as homilist. Burial followed in the Community
Contributions honoring the memory of these faithful
brothers may be made to the Missionaries of the Precious
Blood, Cincinnati Province.
Not a Missionary Heart
fear I do not have a missionary heart.
When Fr. Vince Wirtner, C.PP.S., the Missionaries’ vocation
director, tells the story of how he found his own religious vocation
as a priest and Missionary, he explains that he first went to his
diocesan vocation director (see page 10). “He told me that he could
see I had a missionary heart,” Fr. Vince says. The vocation director
was wise enough to see that young Vince would be happier if he was
on the move, like a missionary. He encouraged Vince to check out the
Missionaries of the Precious Blood, and the rest is history.
Unlike Fr. Vince, I am a person who stays put. I live 20 miles from
where I grew up. I see my mom every week. I’m very happy with my
first husband. We’ve lived in the same house for over 20 years. I think a
pattern is emerging here.
When I was 20, I would not have seen my life ending up this way.
However, I am blissfully happy most days with the choices I have
made, especially when we are walking in the woods with our beagle or
when one of us comes home complaining that the traffic near Wal-Mart
was terrible.
Our young adult kids are now facing some of the same choices
and questions. Where should they make their home/seek their
fortune? I know from my own experience that if you come back
to your hometown or anywhere near it, you are in for 20 years of
second-guessing from people who feel you have not realized your full
potential. After about 20 years, if you can demonstrate that you have a
happy life, you suddenly become some sort of prairie wisdom figure
and people praise you for your serenity.
I believe that God sets a radio frequency in our hearts, and we
know when it is in tune with the place where we find ourselves.
I understand that people are invigorated and challenged by new
environments, and they certainly earn more entertaining obituaries.
They have missionary hearts.
But I believe too that you can have a missionary
At Our House
mind; that is, you can send your mind out on
by Jean Giesige
expeditions, and it can range throughout the world
or galaxy, learning and exploring. Such exploration
is a gift from God, whose mind is larger and more
expansive than any of us will ever grasp in this lifetime.
In the end, then, our current address may not matter
as much as our destination. As long as we are
traveling toward God, with God and through
God, we are in the right place.
A beautiful, peaceful, prayerful
Saint Charles
Senior Living
• Airy, spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments
for seniors.
• Exercise room, library and walkways on the beautiful
• Residents are invited to participate in St. Charles’
rich and devout prayer life, through daily Mass
and benediction in the Assumption Chapel.
For more information, call 419-925-4516, ext. 112
2860 US Route 127, Celina OH 45822
Send address changes,
comments, suggestions
or requests for
more information to:
Jean Giesige, editor,
C.PP.S. Today, 431 E. Second St.,
Dayton, OH 45402-1764
[email protected]
Please include your name and contact
information so that we can respond to
your correspondence.
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